Dressing for winter is not only more fun, but also more expensive! The tall boots, leg-wear, jackets, scarves and layering details that make clothes-lovers like myself thrilled to be cold can also be hard on our wallets. It’s only November, but I have already started getting creative with budget-friendly wardrobe additions. Here are my ideas, so far:
1. Decide what you can still wear from previous years, and store/ donate everything else to save space.
2. Organize your closet to see what you really have, without being distracted by clutter and summer clothes.
3. Keep tube-tops, some summer dresses and dressy tank-tops to layer over fitted turtlenecks or long-sleeved tops (this is a great way to alternate just a few long-sleeved, fitted shirts without looking repetitive).
4. For trendy splurge items, like heavy patterned coats or faux (please) fur which is super- trendy this winter, check thrift and consignment stores. No need to break your bank on a one-year wear item. I got an amazing plaid, wool jacket for $7.99 at MegaThrift in Winston-Salem! (they have a killer scarf collection, too).
5. Get basics, like tights and long-sleeved tees new at department store sales or larger, less expensive outlet-style stores. I stocked up at Old Navy, where long-sleeved, fitted tees were $5-10 each.
6. Make a list of “necessary” splurges. These are things that cannot easily be skimped on, or as the old saying goes: “you get what you pay for.” Mine were: a great pair of classic leather boots, new perfume and dark, skinny jeans. Save a little cash a week for those, or add them to a holiday list if you are lucky enough to have friends or family members asking what you would like as a gift!
7. Swap scarves and accessories with friends, or ask grandmothers and mommies for scarves
and belts they no longer wear— one of them may have a great vintage accessory that she finds out-dated, and you’ll have a unique, new-to-you piece with sentimental value.
8. Re-purpose and layer creatively: as I said earlier, don’t stash all your summer wear— a sundress can become an unexpectedly cheerful jumper-dress over a slim turtleneck with
patterned tights and ankle-booties when the weather starts getting you down. Cut the feet off of fun tube-socks, add thumb slits and you have new fingerless gloves! (wash them first, okay?)
9. Heels and socks! It’s a trend in every magazine, and you haven’t had enough cash for new boots just yet! With ankle-length skinny-jeans, a mini-skirt or dress, pair bright, patterned or frilly socks with (closed-toed) heels. Make sure the socks are streamlined enough to avoid any weird bulges, though.
10. If all else fails, and by “all else,” I mean your outfit, winter is the perfect time to experiment with hair and make-up. No heat and humidity to melt your curls and lipstick, so keep your plain-jane outfit simple and classic and wear some retro-curls, bright red lipstick, and a sleek cat-eye edged black liner. Fashion is for your face, too! :)
Okay, that was ten; a nice round list-number— if I think of anymore, I will add them, for my benefit just as much as anyone else reading!
Pictures coming soon of lampshades that were once the sleeves to an 80’s cocktail dress! :D
This weekend, my roomie introduced me to the greatest invention of all creation:
Weigh and Pay Goodwill outlet.
Books= .59 per lb
Clothes= $1.39 per lb
I found lots of great books published before 1879 for my collection, 2 crazy insane dresses to be cut and made into something fun, Seventeen magazines from when my mom was 17….it was a fun, fun day my friends.
I’m not sure if I should recommend this, but it is frugal…I cut my own hair all the time. Especially my bangs. I’m just not really that attatched to it because there are so many hats and accessories in case of a disaster.
I wanted a new assymetrical cut for fall, and don’t feel like paying a stylist to try to read my mind and then be out of $50-$100 AND hate my hair as usual. So I chopped for a while tonight after my shower and this is what I came up with!!! :D
Hot pink ankle-strap heels: Megathrift $1.99
Floral Prairie dress: Goodwill $5
Purple netted felt hat: Mocksville Consignment $12
Antique copy of My Antonia by Willa Cather[ I also collect older copies of my favorite books]: Megathrift $1.50
Betsey Johnson Barbie-doll pink flouncy fun girly-girl dress.
[by the way, I just checked her website and couldn’t find a dress under $290]
Necklace: Grandma’s jewelry box
Shoes: Guess clearance $30 [Dad got them for my 21st birthday <3]
Studded belt: Goodwill $1
Brown Bianco ankle booties; perfect for my last fall in college….or at least my last fall in under-grad…
One of these days they might just walk all over you! ;P
Just got home from my cousin’s sixteenth birthday dinner. Everytime I leave a family function I feel really giddy, like I used to feel on dates. Even yesterday when I had lunch with just my aunt and uncle I felt like I wore a hug for the rest of the day. I mean, those people know you—even UGLY you— and they still hug you and kiss you and talk you up like you’re something great. And sometimes they even give you stuff, or make you food. Family is underrated. I love mine.
I think this wearable hug that I receive so often and abundantly is the reason I feel like I am uncontrollably bleeding love sometimes. I think love sometimes oozes out of my pores and just needs some one to cup their hands and say “thanks!” I don’t often feel that I’m searching for love, but more often someone to love. Someone to catch my oozy-blood love. That’s gross. But it’s an illustration; I want you to understand how easily this comes for me. I didn’t mean to buy an entire box of presents for my sister’s last birthday, I pretty much had to. It was easier for me to buy them than resist. I will probably do it again. I didn’t mean to mail everyone I love cards last week, but I had stamps and a free evening and I love getting mail that isn’t a bill so I did it. Birthdays are the ultimate jack-pot. A friend or family member’s birthday is my chance to shine. It’s my spotlight, my microphone. It gives me a bucket to collect my drippy excess love. Fall has lots of birthdays. I made a friend a painting posted below, and my cousin a cool collage-card. My sister’s, dad’s and a couple friends’ are this fall. Love buckets.
I have to be careful not to become this kind of lover, in the words of Elizabeth Gilbert: (this passage frightened me a little…)
"If I love you, you can have my everything. You can have my time, my devotion…my money, my family, my dog, my dog’s money, my dog’s time—everything. If I love you I will carry for you all your pain, I will assume for you all your debts (in every defintion of the word), I will protect you from your own insecurity, I will project on you all sorts of good qualities that you have never actually cultivated in yourself and I will buy Christmas presents for your entire family. I will give you the sun and the rain, and if they are not available I will give you a sun check and a rain check. I will give you all this and more, until I get so exhausted and depleted that the only way I can recover my energy is by becoming infatuated with someone else." -Eat, Pray, Love.
I was soooo super-skeptical about this book, because too many females like it, and that scares me because many of them also like Twilight, but it’s fantastic. She mentioned Robert Lowell and Louise Glück in the first couple chapters so I know she’s well-read. And she’s so gosh-darn honest. I feel like I wrote this sometimes. I love author-reader intimacy in a memoir. It’s so special. <3
After lunch yesterday (awesome grilled chicken sandwiches by Aunt Patty) Uncle Zero went down to the basement to retrieve the antique window I had asked about for a project; I wanted to paint the window for my friend’s birthday to save money and be special rather than buy a gift (Now THAT’S frugal and fabulous haha). Here is the finished product I was rather proud. Now Casey wants one for her birthday which is super-flattering. Hers is gonna be off the chain.
The canvas: The window frame is from my great-grandparents home, later owned by my great-aunt Tootsie. The house was built in 1790, I think. I’m not sure if this was an original window, but Zero re-caulked it for me and cleaned it :)
Interestingly, it’s very fitting to use a piece of that house to incorporate into art because most of the female inhabitants became some sort of artists or craft-people. Tootsie, her sister Fat (I’m serious, this is what they went by) and my grandmother hooked rugs and painted with oil. They were very resourceful and used old clothes and cardboard or anything else handy to work with. Some of them were able to support themselves this way.
The medium: Acrylic paint, paint marker on the glass and the frame has glued pieces of bark and pinecones from my yard spray-painted black, and ripped-up sheet music. The quotes in the picture say: “…but our knowing deepens —time deepens— The still water we thirst for in dreams we dread…” -Robert Duncan and “…The song that remembers more than I. Oh, la la, the music swims back to me.” -Anne Sexton. The entire piece is about dreams, music, obstacles and artistic growth. (My friend, the recipient is a philosophical thinker and a lovely musician).
And a final quote, since we are speaking love and art, about another very lovely musician, Patsy Cline:
"Because, you see, I don’t think she ever realized that "hurting" and "loving" were almost synonymous."
(old) Leopard print Express top ($14.99)
Rue 21 cotton dress with elastic rouching ($9.99) I also wear it as a bathing suit cover-up…
Tan belt Design Archives ($1)
Tan and silver ankle-strap shoes Rugged Wearhouse ($6.99)Sparkly sequined earrings Rugged Wearhouse…(under 5 bucks)
This is the first entry of my outfit photo-diary! Every day (that I have time and am wearing something “frugal and fabulous) I will update before I leave the house!!! :)
This is an OP-Wal-Mart black pocketed tee, a vintage 80’s floral skirt from Design Archives, and lace-up wedges from Charlotte Russe.
The only un-frugal item in this outfit is my Chanel Rouge Coco lipstick. That was a delicious little birthday splurge present ;)